South Korean swimming star Park Tae-Hwan, who was barred from the Olympics for doping, will compete for the national team in Rio after the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) ruled in his favour.
The multiple Olympic medallist had sought “an urgent ruling” from the Lausanne-based body against his doping ban by July 8 — the deadline for South Korea to select their swimming team for the upcoming Games.
“The decision issued by the President of the CAS Appeals Arbitration Division means that he is eligible to be selected to swim for the Korean team in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” a CAS statement said.
The Korean Olympic Committee (KOC), which said earlier Friday it would abide by the CAS ruling, then announced it would include Park in their list of national athletes.
Park, 26, was slapped with an 18-month suspension after testing positive for an anabolic steroid in out-of-competition controls before the 2014 Asian Games.
The ban lapsed in March, CAS said, but Park remained barred from the 2016 Olympics under a KOC rule which prohibits athletes from representing the country for three years after a doping ban expires.
CAS ruled Friday that KOC’s extended ban constituted a double jeopardy for Park and should be nullified, according to KOC.
Park — once the poster boy of South Korean swimming before the doping scandal — has repeatedly begged for a chance to compete in what would be his third, and probably last, Olympics.
He won 400m freestyle gold and 200m freestyle silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and two silver medals at the 2012 London Olympics, as well as 400m world titles in 2007 and 2011. – Agence France-Presse